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DNI Dan Coats Speaks Out on Trump’s Putin-Presser: ‘I Wish He Had Made a Different Statement’

On Thursday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats sat down with  NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell at the Aspen Security Forum to talk about Russian election meddling and Trump’s much-panned Helsinki response and subsequent clean-up attempts.

Coats was first asked about his decision to hold firm on his position on Russian meddling despite what Trump said in Helsinki and then, only later, walked back on.

The DNI said this: “I felt at this point in time that what we had assessed and reassessed and reassessed and carefully gone over still stands. And that it was important to take that stand on behalf of the intelligence community, on behalf of the American people.”

He then noted in a recent CBS interview Trump seemed to come around on the issue and perhaps it is time to “move on.”

“As we have seen, the president has made statements relative to — in support of that, which I appreciate, the latest being on I think one of your rival networks. [I’ll] give you the privilege of not naming them, keep NBC in front here,” Coats continued on. “So, therefore, it was part of my role and I felt it was important that I do that. It has been said, it has been discussed personally with the president, and I think it is time to move on.”

Mitchell then pressed him on Trump’s numerous conflicting statements on the issue.

The former diplomat replied diplomatically, “Obviously, I wished he had made a different statement but I think that now that has been clarified, based on his late reactions to this and so I don’t think I want to go any further than that.”

Watch above, via CNN

[image via screengrab]

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